January 18, 2008 / 6:46 PM / 10 years ago

U.N. rights forum to hold special session on Gaza

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GENEVA, Jan 18 (Reuters) - The U.N. Human Rights Council is to hold an emergency session next Wednesday to examine alleged violations in Gaza after Israel closed border crossings and carried out attacks on the strip, a U.N. source said on Friday.

The special one-day session, requested by Arab and Muslim countries, is the third on the Palestine issue since the 47-member state forum was set up in June 2006.

The Arab-Muslim request called for action on "human rights violations emanating from Israeli military incursions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including the recent ones in occupied Gaza and the West Bank town of Nablus", according to a copy obtained by Reuters.

Israel bombed the Hamas-run Interior Ministry in Gaza on Friday, its first bombing of a Palestinian government building since Hamas Islamists seized control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007 after routing secular Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel has killed at least 33 Palestinians in Gaza this week as part of what officials describe as a stepped-up campaign to pressure Hamas to rein in militants who have fired more than 110 rockets into the Jewish state in the last three days alone.

The Council was set up to succeed the widely-discredited United Nations Human Rights Commission. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay)





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